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Big Man On Campus

Published ca. 1958
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Tells the story of Jerry Warner, a junior high school student who finds himself in trouble with the authorities and realizes that it is his own attitude and behavior that have caused his predicament.

"Produced with the cooperation of the Los Angeles City School District, the Inglewood Unified School District, and the Inglewood Police Department."

Run time 10:00
Production Company Davis (Sid) Productions
Audio/Visual sound, b&w


Student waiting nervously outside principals office; banks of lockers; eating school lunch; kids throwing food at each other; riding a bicycle with no hands; pizzeria sign; accident; XCU of scowling, angry faces safety


Reviewer: uniQ - - April 21, 2011
Subject: "in this fine mess!"
Jerry Warner sits uncomfortably in a weird room that has 3 thin doors leading from it. Here, he reflects on his misdeeds:

1. Running in the 'hall' (This is a sidewalk next to the building) and bumping into a girl, knocking her books down.

2. Hitting a girl in the head with a milk carton (!) and getting someone else blamed for it.

2a. Hitting up someones milk carton and fighting.

2b. Doing a bad job on trash detail, watch him miss that paper!

3. Getting an F in a 'Home Assignment', in Algebra apparently.

4. Riding his bike out of the school grounds into the street, almost getting run down by a land yacht and chewed out by a convenient policeman.

5. Hanging out WAY too late with the 'gang' at Dino's pizza (Sid Davis found the WEIRDEST named food places).

6. And finally... SPRAYPAINTING A LAB COAT!!1!

After all this, he decides he was in the wrong and has to shape up. The narrator says he's taken the first step in the right direction.
Reviewer: ERD - - July 11, 2006
Subject: Effective film for its 1958 generation
A good guidance film for the 1958 generation.
Well written, acted and directed.
Reviewer: XDelusion - - July 10, 2006
Subject: Jerry's hand job
Anyone notice how that one guy comes in his own face when Jerry gives him the rub down?

Amazing soft porn for it's time!
Reviewer: glenn - - July 21, 2004
Subject: See what can happen?
Inglewood California suffered so terribly at the hands of 'Anglo thugs' such as these, that in the present day it's a city rife with drugs, gangs, and murder...

see what a few little show-off pranks can lead to?

What if EVERYTHING were out of control?
Reviewer: Marysz - - June 15, 2004
Subject: No one to talk to but himself
Junior high student Jerry Warner narrates stories of his misbehavior as he waits to be disciplined outside the principalÃÂÃÂs office. ItÃÂÃÂs an interior monologue; Jerry has to fend for himself. JerryÃÂÃÂs acting out seems pretty small potatoes--throwing a milk carton at a girl and spray painting a teacherÃÂÃÂs coat. But he did ride his bike in front of a car to show off to the other kids and nearly got himself killed. In that scene, the camera is mounted inside the oncoming car and we see it heading down the street towards Jerry. We never see the driver of the car and the anonymity of it shows how Jerry is at the mercy of forces he canÃÂÃÂt control. JerryÃÂÃÂs mom is unconcerned--ÃÂÃÂboys will be boys,ÃÂÃÂ she says. We donÃÂÃÂt see any other adults in JerryÃÂÃÂs life who care about him. ThereÃÂÃÂs no father in sight. His mother neglects him and the adult men he comes into contact with are only there to discipline him. As in other Sid Davis films, there are the usual overhead shots of children walking on desolate suburban streets and highways. This camerawork makes us see how vulnerable and unprotected these children are. In the end, Jerry comes to the conclusion that he should change his ways. ItÃÂÃÂs a brave decision that heÃÂÃÂs forced to come to on his own. He has only himself to rely on.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - October 15, 2003
Subject: With a Teeny Tiny Voice
High school student Jerry Warner sits in front of the principle's office, his life flashing before his eyes. Mostly it's a life filled with such horrible crimes as throwing milk cartons, riding a bicycle with no hands, and spray-painting a teacher's lab coat. Jerry narrates his life story, and either puberty is still several years in the future for him, or they got a 4th-grader to dub in his voice. Jerry gets suspended for his pranks and this causes him to turn over a new leaf in the direction of conformity to adult expectations. He'd better, or I'm sure Sid Davis has gruesome consequences in mind for him.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - September 21, 2003
Subject: Submission
Ah the 60's, when junior high girls had really big hair, junior high boys had really tight pants, and Ingelwood was a white middle class suburb of LA with Sid Davis Productions as its moral guide.

While waiting for the vice principal, Jerry reflects on running in the halls, goofing off, and fooling around on the way home from school. He thinks it's important to be popular, even if you get punished. But punishment makes him look bad, so to maintain his rep, he picks up a can of spray paint and paints a teacher's coat. BUSTED! Suddenly he realizes he doesn't obey authority, and resolves to submit. Narrator confirms Jerry's wise decision.
Reviewer: dynayellow - - September 8, 2003
Subject: Public (school) Enemy #1
Jerry doesn't like anyone telling him what to do. He thinks he can be a big man on campus... if by campus you mean middle school. A madcap crime spree that includes running in the halls, hitting a girl in the head with a milk carton, and yes, even riding his bike with no hands ends in tragedy... a seat outside the vice-principals. office. Oh Jerry, didn't you know that this would go down on your permanent record?

The kid who narrates this sounds like Charlie Brown.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - August 23, 2003
Subject: Not a porno.
Poor kid, after doing such dastardly deed as spray-painting a lab coat, throwing a milk box at a fellow student and driving a bike with no hands into oncoming traffic, the kid then gets whats coming to him from the Vice principal, ah but wait, the kid has thought it over on how rotten he was and is given a second chance. This Sid Davis film looks ok, has a good message, but the ending feels totally tacked on.
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